Sunday, April 22, 2007

Egyptologists keep ancient world fresh

"After she died around the time BC turned to AD, she had to charm knife-wielding gate keepers of the afterlife, convince 42 gods of her sinlessness, and finally see her heart weighed against the truth, knowing that any slip meant this seat of consciousness would be kibble for a waiting monster with a crocodile head, hippo hind parts, and the chest and forelegs of a leopard.
From the triumphant look of the Egyptian woman depicted on the burial papyrus, arms upraised as though signaling a touchdown, Tamesia waltzed into the afterlife intact.
But if it weren't for Terry Wilfong, of the University of Michigan, another part of Tamesia's burial papyrus would not come true.
Mr. Wilfong's painstaking interpretation of the papyrus, owned by the Toledo Museum of Art, is helping her name live forever - or at least through today - just like the papyrus promised."

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